The Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) has been revealed in all its glory since it was first unveiled last year (opens in new tab). We got more details last month (opens in new tab) and Microsoft now has all of the specs for its next gen console listed on its official website. Sony has finally stepped up to delve into the innards of the PS5 (opens in new tab), with PlayStation lead system architect, Mark Cerny, doing a deep dive this week (opens in new tab).
One of the features that Microsoft has surprisingly decided to keep around as we head into the next generation of console hardware is the use of AA batteries in its controller, which seems massively archaic, but the company has defended the decision.
- PS5 and Xbox Series X launches could be stopped in their tracks by coronavirus (opens in new tab)
- Xbox Series X: Microsoft scrambles to respond to leaked launch date (opens in new tab)
- Xbox Series X (and probably PS5) WILL have old-school memory cards (opens in new tab)
Sony scrapped batteries in its controllers when it launched the DualShock 3 with a rechargeable battery pack. Aside from the general annoyance of seemingly never being able to find batteries when you need them, having a high end device use them seems out of place in a world of slick smartphones with wireless charging. Not to mention the cost. You can charge the PS4 (opens in new tab)'s DualShock 4 (opens in new tab) with a micro USB cable, or - if you value convenience without the clutter - a charging dock (opens in new tab),
The cables are cheap enough, and while the dock is more expensive, it's a one-time cost that will last the lifetime of your console if you treat it right. Microsoft, on the other hand, has continued to opt for battery-powered controllers this generation, which means gamers can continue to buy AA batteries for the lifetime of the console, fork out for rechargeable AA batteries, or buy a rechargeable battery pack. YouTuber Austin Evans (opens in new tab) got a hands on with the Xbox Series X and its controller , and he shows this off in the video below at around the 18.20 mark.
It seems an odd decision to ship the Xbox Series X controller - a console that has made a huge technological leap from the Xbox One (opens in new tab) - with batteries; something we use to power remote controls, or kitchen clocks, and are a general annoyance. But Microsoft holds that this decision keeps the players and their needs front and centre.
"The Xbox Wireless Controller uses AA batteries in order to offer choice to players," said a spokesperson from Microsoft. "As with all our work at Xbox, we place the player at the center of the gaming experience, and so we decided to maintain AA batteries for choice.
"This way, gamers can choose whether they use disposable AA batteries, rechargeable AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack."
While offering players a choice is admirable, keeping high tech, premium devices anchored to antiquated means of juicing them up seems a little off. Maybe even a bit cheap. When you set up that sleek, black, mini monolith in your living room, it's a bit jarring to then be rummaging around the recesses of your junk drawer, trying to fish out batteries before you can play. But let us know what you think!